This is a large greenspace just off New Hampshire Avenue, right next to Jackson Road Elementary.
The large adventure playground is at the end of the park near the school. It's dated (the plastic is sun-faded) but everything worked and my kids had a lot of fun playing. They especially loved the merry go round that would go really fast. There is a working water fountain and HEATED bathrooms (nice for my January visit) although the toilets looked really nasty. But hey, they worked and I don't think they WERE dirty, just old.
There is a nice pavilion right next to the playground that would be a great place to take a rest on a hot day.
Lots of sporting fields in the park and there is a swimming pool also but we didn't visit it.
I took my two four year old boys for a "hike" around the pond. It never really felt like a hike because the trails are paved and you can always see cars, no matter where you are - but the pond is nice, there are lots of geese and ducks and there was a little bridge to walk over, which we liked.
The website has great maps of the trails around the park, although truthfully, it would be hard to get lost. You can print them out and bring them with you if you want because the sign board there didn't have a map posted.
It was a fun way to spend the morning.
I visited on a weekend in November with my four sons. I'd come here years ago, when my kids were much younger, and the museum was in a trailer, so that was what I'd expected. Instead I saw a sparkling new building, clearly an investment was made so that was nice. I'm wondering if that's why there is such a steep admission price - I was $7 and my kids were $5 each.
It feels steep because, truthfully, there is not that much to see, not compared to other museums out there.
Things my kids liked:
*People LOVED the model Trolley track layout. It's set up like Connecticut Ave and by pulling a lever you can start the trolley moving. THAT was a hit. I will say, though, that ALL the little children in there wanted to pull the one lever, so there had to be some arranging of turns.
*They have a quiet room with funny old silent films playing that have working trolleys in them, people found them hilarious.
*We took a short tour back into the trolley barn. There were many lovely and refurbished trolleys as well as some that look like someone drove them into the barn 50 years ago and just let them rot. I liked looking at both and so did my kids. The elderly gentleman giving us our tour told us about them and the kids could ask questions. What they could NOT do was touch. Anything. That was kind of a bummer - I think they really wanted to climb inside and explore but that's not allowed.
*We got to go on a trolley ride (timed ticket they gave us at the desk- it's a Dutch trolley from before I was born and people loved our little ride through the woods. It did have a bit of trouble when we were half way out (it broke down two different times) so our ride was longer than normal and no one complained about that.
And that's about it. Like I said the kids did enjoy themselves but I had no real way to drag out our visit, there wasn't anything else to do. But for what it was, we learned a bit, saw a bit, had a bit of a ride and we left happy for the time spent.
Went to the "haunted corn maze". Entered the corn maze and the female members of our group were immediately harassed by one of the teenage employees. He repeatedly asked to hold her hand and would not stop trying to sweet talk her. She told him to stop yet he continued to follow us through the maze telling us about how drunk all the employees were and that they had coolers of beer hidden in the maze. As we continued through the corn maze we were met by 8-12 teenage male employees wearing masks and wielding gas powered chainsaws with the chain removed.
These "workers" were completely not scary. The only scary part of this corn maze was the constant inhalation of gas exhaust and the Chain saw noise being 1 foot from your ears. The workers physically touched the female in our group and would not allow her to continue walking through the maze. This went on with them harassing us for around 8 minutes. She broke down crying because the "employees" physically prevented her from walking away from their harassment.
We walked back to the entrance as we had only been in the maze a total of 10 minutes. I politely asked the "security" if we could receive our money back, as the employees had physically touched the female in our group and the employees would not stop running 10 chainsaws inches from our face. He then immediately began screaming that no one touched her even though he had not be present during any of this happening. I told him that he could not comment on whether it had happened because he was not present during it taking place.
The security guard then challenged me to a physical altercation for complaining, as a paying customer, and told us that we should write a bad review because they have had many bad reviews already and it doesn't matter.
I walked to the ticket booth and demanded a manager. The employees told me that they could not let me talk to a manager or the owner of the establishment and that they would not return my money even though the woman in our group was physically assaulted.
Stay away from this place unless you want the females in your group harassed by drunk teenagers with gas powered chainsaws. HORRIBLE....HORRIBLE place. STAY FAR AWAY. Frightworks in Powell is where you should take your money.
A child’s first opera is a memorable family event. Opera ties together classical music, a unique style of singing, storytelling, costumes and incredible set design. The music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is moving and The Magic Flute delivers a story of evil, love, suspense and laughter.
The Lyric Opera of Chicago delivered an amazing performance of The Magic Flute. The three hour performance in German also had English subtitles shown on a screen above the stage and it was very easy to follow along.
My 15 year old son and 12 year old daughter have been to many musical theater and concert performances but never an opera so they didn’t not know what to expect. Both seemed sincerely interested to understand the storyline and asked questions.
Parking was quite easy. It was a flat rate of $15 and we parked at the Wells Fargo building across the street. Upon entrance, the grand foyer of the Civic Opera House is breathtaking. The magnificent building boasts a ceiling that is so ornately painted and the history of the building dates back to 1929. It was ready to open the day after the stock market crashed and there is a long history on this building itself. [the Civic Opera House actually opened 6 days after the crash; for more history, https://www.lyricopera.org/about/history/civicoperahistory]
Anyone attending the opera can take advantage of the "before the show" experience. In our case, we enjoyed a light pre-show dinner, opera talk and walk through of the beautiful lobby of the opera house.
The pre-show Opera Talk was an invaluable experience that gave a brief history and explanation of what we were about to see. I highly suggest you take advantage of this opportunity. This talk began an hour and 15 minutes before the show began.
We happened to see the performance the night the Youth Opera Council was having a social event. This group of Chicago-area high school students share a love for opera. To become a member, high school students in grades 9-12 apply and are hand-selected to be part of this group which hosts monthly events to meet with performers. learn more about opera and see operas together. We were able to mingle and chat with high school opera enthusiasts and it was heart warming to see this next generation so interested in opera.
There are two dining options. The Florian Opera Bistro which offers light salads, sandwiches, soups and stews or the prix-course fine dining experience at The Sarah and Peer Pedersen Room. Both offer wines [full beverage service] and desserts. Both restaurants require reservations. [Florian Bistro also takes walk-ins, if space is available]
The children enjoyed the dessert pre-ordered waiting for us at intermission at the same table we dined at.
The unexpected raspberry cheesecake, opera cake and plate of cookies was a delightful surprise and offered an opportunity to discuss Act 1.
Overall, our first family "opera experience” was beyond enjoyable. The Magic Flute is a perfect family opera for children to understand. We look forward to returning for another opera experience at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.
Wish I could give them a 0 stars! Had an issue, management basically told it's not there problem. Would never take my kids back! Very ghetto & unprofessional!